Cardinals girls soccer outkicks Tigers, 6-0

AIR ALEXIS — Fairmont Area midfielder Lexi Kaufman (left) displays her vertical leap in directing a header away from Marshall midfielder Grace Gordon during Big South Conference soccer action Tuesday night at Kot Soccer Complex in Fairmont. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Rayah Quiring’s rare non-start proved a positive factor during Tuesday night’s windy and rainy Big South Conference game on the swampy turf at Kot Soccer Complex.

The 6-foot sophomore striker emerged from the dry shelter of the Cardinals’ canvas soccer shelter 15 minutes into the opening half and reeled off two goals and one assist to pace Fairmont Area’s eventual 6-0 victory over the Marshall Tigers.

“I contemplated playing a 2×2 formation since only Noah would venture outside on a night like tonight,” Fairmont Area head coach Matt Nielsen said wryly about the soggy playing conditions.

While Quiring was likely one of the driest players due to her limited but efficient playing time, Cardinals sophomore goalkeeper Cadence Becker got drenched by the pelting rain and netted another shutout without making a save.

Senior striker Joni Becker and senior midfielder Lexi Kaufman established a high-octane offensive attack as Fairmont Area produced a 38-0 edge in shots on goal, with 21 coming in the initial 40 minutes.

Becker’s right-wing charge off the initial kickoff created a scoring opportunity for Savanah Baker only 29 seconds into the league clash. Becker’s kick glanced off Marshall goalie Leah Legatt, with Baker tapping home the deflection for a quick 1-0 lead.

Legatt kept the Cardinals’ relentless rotation of attackers at bay by halting Kaufman’s 30-yard blast from the point, Emma Schultze’s header near the left doorstep and Brooklyn Meyer’s kickback attempt from the right wing for three of her game-best 32 saves.

Emma Schultze, however, settled the ball out of a scrum near the top of the box and lofted a perfect 22-yarder off the under side of the crossbar and into the twine at the 24:49 juncture for a 2-0 Fairmont Area lead.

Kaufman finally earned a dividend for her constant offensive drives by spotting Quiring inside the box for a right-to-left goal with 22:39 remaining in the first half.

Kaufman and Meyer then worked a perfect give-and-go to open the second half for a 4-0 Fairmont Area lead with 20:26 remaining in regulation. Meyer lofted a right end-line drive to Kaufman along the left wing and the Cardinals’ captain buried her blast in the webbing.

Quiring later drove the right wing and rocketed a rising liner off a diving Legatt’s gloves that Maddie Maakestad calmly chipped into the net for a rebound goal with 12:01 remaining.

Quiring single-footedly delivered the Cardinals’ final goal of the 6-0 triumph by intercepting Marshall’s clearing pass before rifling a right-wing blast off the Tigers’ keeper and into the cage at the 11:05 mark.

Fairmont Area (11-2-1, 8-2-1 Big South) closes out the regular season by traveling to Worthington on Thursday night.

Marshall (4-8) awaits the outcome of an upcoming seeding meeting that will determine its first game of the Section 2A playoffs.

Marshall 0-0–0

Fairmont 3-3–6

Scoring Plays

1st Half

FA–Savanah Baker (Joni Becker), 39:31.

FA–Emma Schultze (unassisted), 24:49.

FA–Rayah Quiring (Lexi Kaufman), 22:39.

2nd Half

FA–Lexi Kaufman (Brooklyn Meyer), 20:26.

FA–Maddie Maakestad (Rayah Quiring), 12:01.

FA–Rayah Quiring (unassisted), 11:05.

Shots on goal: Fairmont Area 21-17–38; Marshall 0-0–0. Corners: Fairmont Area 6; Marshall 0.

Saves: Leah Legatt (MAR) 32; Cadence Becker (FA) 0.

Fairmont Area posted a 5-0 victory over Marshall during junior varsity action Tuesday night in Fairmont.

Allison Janssen produced a pair of goals for the Cardinals, while Alexis Rojo supplied one goal and one assist.

Kate Busche and Kaiden Boerner each chipped in an unassisted goal for Fairmont Area.

Boerner and Angel Smith combined between the pipes for the shutout for the Cardinals.

Boys Soccer

Marshall 1, Fairmont Area 0 — The Tigers netted the Big South Conference game’s only goal to edge the Cardinals on Tuesday night at Southwest Minnesota State University’s campus in Marshall.

Due to the damp and windy game conditions, no official statistics were available.

Marshall also edged Fairmont Area, 2-1, on Sept. 5 at Kot Soccer Complex.

Fairmont Area (7-7-1) plays host to Worthington at 7 p.m. Thursday night in its regular-season finale.